Now that Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 Complete Edition is available on Nintendo Switch, here are some tips, tricks and strategies for success.

The release of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Complete Edition on Nintendo Switch has an influx of players flocking to the 2004 game. Some are there to experience the nostalgia, while others are new to the RollerCoaster Tycoon series as a whole. These popular tycoon games not only spawned a few memes but laid the groundwork for spiritual successor, Planet Coaster.

Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 is a construction and management simulator. Players are in charge of running various amusement parks in Career mode or trying their hand at building one from scratch in Sandbox mode. Either way, the goal is to construct rides, improve scenery and manage vendors, all while keeping peeps, aka guests, happy. By learning a few tips and tricks, new players can strengthen their park management skills and climb the ranks to entrepreneurial greatness.

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Start Small

It can be tempting to build giant rollercoasters with twists and drops right from the jump, but big rides come with more construction costs. When first loading into a RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 scenario, press “pause.” Players should become familiar with park finances and consider research. If there are pre-built rides, check their pricing and adjust accordingly. This also applies to the park entry fee. Not all scenarios have one, but if they do, it’s usually safe to increase the admittance fee by a couple dollars.

Once general finances have been established, it’s time to construct. Place smaller rides like the Twister, Chairswing, or Spiral Slide first. Because they are relatively inexpensive, small rides are useful for creating income. Although variety is essential, Thrill Rides are more exciting and tend to draw large crowds.

The Customer Is Always Right

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Listen to what guests are saying. Peeps provide invaluable insight into what a park is lacking or excelling in. Access guest thoughts via the Park Management button (clipboard icon) by clicking on “Guests.” From there, sort guest summaries by “Thoughts” or “Actions.”

Peeps will express their physical needs like hunger and thirst, along with complaints about litter and long wait times. If 50 or more guests need to use the bathroom, placing an additional restroom is the appropriate solution. Guest happiness is paramount to a park’s success and should be a continuous priority throughout the game.

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Manage Staff

A common mistake for new RollerCoaster Tycoon players is to plop staff down to wander freely. Part of running a massive amusement park is managing employees. There is no separate HR department. Delegate each team member to a patrol area. This is the best technique to keep staff organized and rides running smoothly. There are four types of staff members to consider: handymen, mechanics, security guards and entertainers.

As a rule, each mechanic’s patrol area should include about four rides. That’s how much they can handle without becoming overwhelmed by breakdowns and inspections. Handymen can successfully cover five or six patrol tiles without getting bogged down with litter and vomit. Security guards are not necessary for early game but come in handy for preventing vandalism in larger parks. Their patrol areas are smaller, about three to four tiles. Security guards are ideal for vandalism-prone areas such as paths with numerous benches and trash cans begging to be kicked over.

Entertainers are another staff type best reserved for later gameplay. They have no vital purpose in park function other than improving peep happiness. When placed, entertainer patrols should focus on crowded queue lines and food courts.

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Facilities and Stalls and Finances, Oh My!

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Strategic shop and facility placement is key to maintaining peep satisfaction in RollerCoaster Tycoon. For the most part, placement is common sense. Information Kiosks should be built by park entrances. This gives guests immediate access to park maps, providing them specific destinations instead of aimless wandering. Place First Aid Stations near ride exits with high nausea ratings. When peeps use First Aid Stations, paths remain clean. Guests spawn with various amounts of money, so ATMs provide quick access to cash.

Peeps can only carry one food or drink item at a time. Food courts are aesthetically pleasing, but offer no real advantage. There is one exception, however. Salty food items like popcorn, fries and pretzels increase the guest’s thirst meter faster than other foods. Therefore, building these types of shops close to Drink Stalls is a solid strategy.

Merchandise Stalls are another great way to earn a profit. Peeps are more likely to buy merchandise when they are happy, so keep an eye on guest satisfaction. A good rule to follow when setting vendor prices is a minimum $1 profit on each item sold. Consider placing a toilet price, too. It sounds cruel, but charging $0.20 per guest is enough to cover functioning costs and turn a small profit.

Don’t forget to check “Guest Thoughts.” If peeps comment on a particular ride’s “good value,” it’s time to increase the price. If raised too much, guests will be sure to profess their anger. Apply extra income to running advertising campaigns. Advertising is an excellent way to boost guests temporarily. They are particularly useful for reaching goals at the end of scenarios and taking parks to the next level.

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